Better Broadband for Llangwm and Llansoy

Superfast Cymru is pressing ahead with upgrading the BT network so that 96% of Welsh premises can have access to faster broadband by June 2016.

When the project is complete in 2 years time, there will still be many homes and businesses in rural communities who will not see any improvement in their Broadband.

Tired of suffering with poor service the community of Llangwm and Llansoy have decided to take action.  As a result faster Broadband services will on their way to Llangwm and Llansoy later this year.

It’s our privilege to play a part in delivering this initiative. To register your interest or for more information visit the Llangwm Broadband website here.

Ofcom report that Wales is catching up

Ofcom report that broadband coverage is ‘catching up’ in Wales but still lags behind England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

BT claim that they are making great progress with the Superfast Cymru upgrade programme, passing more than 5,000 premises per week.   However independent industry analysts such as Think Broadband argue that the Superfast Cymru roll-out will will undershoot its 96% target (roughly 700,000 premises) and only achieve 80% coverage by final completion of the project in 2016.

The Welsh Government are clearly aware of the limitations of Superfast Cymru project and are currently consulting with suppliers to take part in the Superfast Cymru ‘infill’ programme.

In the meantime the Ofcom report can be seen here.

WG Public Consultation – ‘Superfast Cymru Infil’

The Welsh Government (WG) is now acknowledging  the need for further intervention on the broadband front.

WG is conducting a Public Consultation before going to market with a new procurement to deliver good broadband to areas that will miss out on Superfast Cymru.

If want to voice your opinion as part of the Public Consultation and you are a; local stakeholder, business, the public sector, voluntary group, local community or someone who  lives and works in Wales, you can complete the WG survey here.

Further details about the Public Consultation can be found on the WG website here.

Maps of the proposed ‘Superfast Cymru infil‘ can be seen here.

WG release ‘Superfast Cymru’ Post Code data

The Welsh Goverment/BT Superfast Cymru project aims  to deliver high speed fibre broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by 2016.

So far Superfast Cymru has issued information on where and where the rollout will be delivered here. 

As of 28th May you can now check if your postcode is included in the intervention area for Superfast Cymru by clicking here.

It is worth remembering that even if your local BT street cabinet is being enabled you are not assured of a ‘superfast broadband’ (24Mbps). The further away you are away  from the BT infrastructure the slower your speed, as can be seen below.

VDSLdropoff

Nevertheless check out if your post code is included in Superfast Cymru intervention area.  If you have any questions please email us; info@disconnectedwales.com

* Note: the postcode data pdf can take a while to download

Fibre on Demand in Cardiff and Newport

Fibre on Demand (FoD) which provides “ultra-fast” 330Mbps (30Mbps upload) will now be available in a Super Connected Cities, in Wales, but at the new increased price.

Charges are:

  • Monthly rental charge for the first three years will be increased to £99 per month (from the current £38 per month).
  • One-off fixed connection charge will be increased to £750 (from the current £500).
  • One-off distance based charge (which varies according to the distance between the fibre aggregation node and the customer premise) will be increased to £3.50 per metre (from the current £2 per metre).

ISP Review estimate that more than half of premises will face a total connection charge of between £1,100 and £2,500. If they are right, this brings FoD within the £3000 Super Connected Cities grant available in Cardiff and Newport.

FoD exchanges are:

Llandaff – Cardiff
Llanedeyrn – Cardiff
Llanishen – Cardiff
Llanrumney – Cardiff
Caerleon – Newport
Castleton; Gwent – Newport
Maesglas – Newport
Maindee – Newport
Newport Chartist – Newport
Newport; Gwent – Newport
Rhiwderin – Newport

FoD is not the same as BT’s Fibre to the Premises (FttP). With FoD the customer pays more for the service to be built and installed (e.g. digging up pavements etc.). With BT’s FttP service BT covers the infrastructure costs and you pay for the final connection into your home/office.

Superfast Cymru Exchanges by March 2015

More than 100,000 premises have now had their BT Exchanges upgraded under ‘Superfast Cymru’.  The target is 690,000 premises by the end of 2015.

Whilst there are anomalies on the lists of exchanges already completed, BT have now released a new list of exchanges scheduled to be enabled by the end of March 2015:

•Caerphilly: Cross Keys, Machen, Nelson, Rhymney, Risca, Senghenydd, Ynysddu

•Cardiff: Radyr •Carmarthenshire: Amman Valley, Carmarthen, Hebron, Llanbydder, Maesycrugiau, Pencader, Pumpsaint, Upper Cwmtwrch, Velindre

•Conwy: Cerrigydrudion, Llanfairfechan •Ceredigion: Aberaeron, Aeron, Aberporth, Borth, Bow Street, Bronant, Capel Bangor, Cardigan, Crosswood, Cwrtnewydd, Lampeter, Llanarth, Llandyssul, Llangybi, Llanilar, Llanon, Llechryd, Nebo, Newcastle Emlyn, New Quay, Ponterwyd, Ponthrydygroes, Pontrhydfendigaid, Pontshaen, Talybont, Tregaron

•Denbighshire: Bodfari, Bryneglwys, Cyffylliog, Denbigh, Dyserth, Glyndwr, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Llandegla, Llandrillo, Llandyrnog, Llangollen, Llanynys, Maerdy, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, St Asaph, Trefnant •Flintshire: Caerwys, Halkyn, Kinnerton, Llanferres,

•Gwynedd: Bontddu, Ganllwyd, Tudweiliog •Neath Port Talbot: Crynant, Cymmer, Glantawe, Glynneath, Pontardawe, Resolven, Seven Sisters, Skewen

•Monmouthshire: Gilwern, , Magor, Nantyderry, Tredunnock Usk

•Pembrokeshire: Boncath, Crosswell, Crymych, Dinas Cross, Llwyndrain, Moylegrove, Newport,

•Powys: Abercrave, Abermule, Berriew, Brecon, Builth Wells, Bwlch, Caersws, Carno, Castle Caereinion, Church Stoke, Crickhowell, Erwood, Forden, Guilsfield, Hay-on-Wye, Hundred House, Gladestry, Kerry, Kington, Knighton, Llanbrynmair, Llanfair Caereinion, Llandrindod Wells, Llangamarch Wells, Llangurig, Llanfrynach, Llanfyllin, Llangorse, Llanidloes, Llanymynech, Newtown, Llanrhaeadr, Llansantffraid, Llanwrtyd Wells, Merthyr Cynog, Montgomery, Newbridge-on-Wye, Penybont, New Radnor, Pennant, Presteigne, Rhayader, Sennybridge, Talgarth, Talybont-on-Usk, Trefeglwys, Tregynon, Trewern, Welshpool

•Swansea: Llangennith

•Torfaen: Blaenavon, Talywain •Wrexham: Bangor-on-Dee, Chirk, Dutton Diffeth, Glyn Ceiriog, Hanmer, Overton-on-Dee, Redbrook Maelor, Rossett, Rhosllanerchrugog, Ruabon

Innovative solutions after Superfast Cymru

The Government is now actively thinking beyond the completion of the current ‘Superfast’ Broadband rollout programme, scheduled to be March 2015 in Wales.

Next week UK Government, Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, will be chairing a round table event in Westminster with key stakeholders to consider how best to get Superfast Broadband to the most difficult to reach areas.

The great and good will discuss the development of “innovative solutions” to solve the problem whilst needing to satisfy DCMS requirement for  “enhanced mobile services, new fixed technologies and alternative approaches to structuring financial support”.

Whilst BT will naturally be promoting the benefits of their forthcoming Gfast technology and recently acquired mobile spectrum, it’s yet to be seen to what extent the roll of Wi-Fi could play.  Some argue that Wi-Fi is the most cost effective and potentially most flexible solution for those at the end of the Broadband line, as can be seen here.

Reference: UK Gov, National Infrastructure Plan 2013

WiFi on its way for First Great Western trains

If you’re tired of poor mobile coverage and no Internet access on the Paddington train to Wales, you may have to wait a little longer.

First Great Western (FGW) has announced a time scale for the implementation of free WiFi on board its High Speed Train fleet and Night Riviera Sleeper services running from Paddinton to the Costwolds and the West Country.

On 14 October First Great Western pledged to increase WiFi provision as part of its new, 23-month franchise which will see all 53 of its High Speed Trains fitted with WiFi. Installation work for this will start in May 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Nomad Digital (who are delivering the WiFi service for First Great Western)  state that “The public’s demand for WiFi connectivity on transport has grown rapidly, becoming a vital tool for working and staying connected while on the move.

Unfortunately passengers travelling between London, Reading, Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and Wales, will have to wait a while.  In the meantime there is free WiFi at several FGW stations through the public provider The Cloud or your mobile phone network.

Broadband is going G.fast

G.fast which can potentially deliver Broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) over BT’s hybrid fibre & copper lines has being given formal “consent” to the start the approval process by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T).

The ITU approval process is expected to complete in Q3 2014 and will pave the way for potential launch of G.fast into consumer market in 2016/17.  This ties in nicely with the completion of the current Next Generation Broadband Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) deployment by BT.

At present BT uses FTTC technology to deliver speeds of up to 80Mbps, depending on line length.  G.fast adopts a similar approach to FTTC but is designed maximise latest technologies such Vectoring. The clever thing about vectoring is that it minimises ‘cross-talk’ interference, and does not require mains power since it draws power from the customers modem/router.

Another advantage of G.fast is that is cheaper to deploy than Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), and along side greater use of radio spectrum is likely to be the next step of BT’s deployment in meeting Government targets for Next Generation Broadband access by 2020.

Broadband vouchers for business in Cardiff and Newport

SME Businesses in Cardiff and Newport can now register their interest for grants of up to £3000+VAT to help them get connected to a 30+ Mbps Broadband Service.  Eligible businesses have to pay the VAT on the installation. The grant is also not designed to cover line rental and any general service charges.

Cardiff Council is inline to receive £11M from the UK Government’s Urban Broadband Fund (UBF). Both Cardiff and Newport are now accepting inquiries from businesses. For more information click here.

UK Gov originally intended the UBF to be spent on being spent upon the construction of new ‘ 80-100Mbps+ ‘Ultrafast broadband infrastructure, however due to legal challenges from BT & Virgin and concerns over State Aid the scheme has now been diluted and used on connection vouchers.

Cardiff and Newport are the only cities in Wales who are to receive money under the UBF, since Swansea’s application was not accepted by the UK Government.